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Barry Blanchard


Barry Blanchard is a seventh generation descendant of Cuthbert Grant the leader of the Métis at the Battle of Seven Oaks, June 19, 1816. Had Barry been born then he would have hunted buffalo from horse back as his ancestors did. Instead, Barry was called to the Canadian Rocky Mountains which he could see on the western horizon from his childhood home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A six-month trip to the French Alps in 1980 set the course of Barry’s life: to climb the steepest and most complicated faces of the world’s great glaciated peaks. Barry has enjoyed some success: the North Ridge of Rakaposhi, Karakoram, Pakistan 1984; the West Ridge of Mt Everest, Tibet 1986; surviving the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, Himalaya, Pakistan 1988; an attempt on K-2, Pakistan 1993; first ascents in the St Elias mountains; the third ascent of the Infinite Spur on Sultana (MT Foraker), Alaska 2000; the first ascent of Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Yexyexéscen (Mt Robson), Canadian Rockies 2002. More importantly Barry has enjoyed all of his outings, even the ones not included in the narrow definition of “success”. Barry moved to the mountains in 1982 to pursue his Mountain Guiding career (he is an internationally certified -UIAGM- mountain guide) and has included making Hollywood features such as “K-2”, “Cliffhanger” and “Vertical Limit” in his professional life. Barry lives in Canmore, Alberta, with his partner, Nicole, and his two daughters, Rosemary and Eowyn and cat, Orion.

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